Eddie Pensier writes:
New Zealand brand Stolen Rum has a hipster origin story for the ages: inspired by a Jim Jarmusch movie.
Instead of the usual fruitcakey sorts of spices that flavor a spiced rum, Stolen decided to make theirs smell of what I imagine the back-bar of a grungy 70s downtown rock club smelled like at 6am…rum, coffee and cigarettes, just like it says on the bottle. Definitely not your average spiced Sailor Jerry or Captain Morgan. This is surely no sophisticated pipey “tobacco” note but rather the grey, ashy smell of cheap or badly handmade cigarettes with too high a ratio of paper to tobacco.
What a surprise then, that the coffee note is the smooth player in this mix. Not bitter overroasted coffee, but a nice medium-roast that when combined with the rum’s own inherent caramel-molasses-vanilla notes produces an interesting Frappucino-ish effect. Imagine a 38% alcohol Frappuccino into which you have accidentally extinguished your Marlboro, but you, you badass rock star you, wouldn’t let something like that ruin your drink.
It should be noted that the Coffee & Cigarettes I’m drinking is the censored version. Australia apparently gave Stolen some grief over the wording on the label, so in a fit of pique combined with a marketing masterstroke, they scribbled out the label and renamed it “Spiced”. They underproofed it too: this one has 37.5% abv, too weak to legally be sold as “rum” in the USA.
I’m enjoying my Stolen
Coffee & Cigarettes Spiced over ice or splashed with soda, but I’m going to start mixing it with stuff soon. Time will tell if it manages to overcome the “hey, this isn’t as gross as I thought it would be!” novelty hurdle.
Available in Australia at Dan Murphy’s and BYS, and in the USA at these joints.
Reblogged this on Will S.' Sunny Side Blog and commented:
Intriguing! I sometimes enjoy a bit of rum in my coffee, though I can’t imagine combining those flavours with cheap cigarettes (though I have occasionally enjoyed a rum-flavoured cigarillo).
I’d try it, if I ever encounter it. 🙂
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Very interesting. I, on the other hand – LOVE this rum. It has a smokey, almost whiskey-esque flavour and isn’t as sweet as the rest of the spiced rum alternatives out there. Can’t taste the ciggie-dropped-in-rum flavours you speak of though i’m pretty sure they have spiced it with fenugreek, which is one of the herbs used in tobacco so might be where you draw your parallels. I’m not a fan of coke generally, but a dash of coke and some ice to this and I reckon you’ve got a winning combo. The rum takes away that gross syrupy acidic taste of coke and replaces it with a nice smokey, cokey deliciousness.
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It may be worth noting that another member of the Pensier household, who has never smoked tobacco or anything else, was repulsed by C&C and chucked it down the drain after the second sip. I on the other hand, a former cigarette smoker of 20 years, was more intrigued than revolted and plan to slowly sip my way through the bottle. I will take your advice of a bit of Coke (in this household Coke is usually mixed with Jack or Chivas or Bundy, but I’m flexible).
Interesting about fenugreek. It’s one of the herbs I have a severe aversion to in concentrated form (see also: caraway, rosemary) but are okay in bouquets with other stuff. I once smelled a cologne with a dominant note of fenugreek, and my description of it at the time contained the phrase “Leftover Indian food reheated in the microwave for ten seconds too long”. I stand by that: the burnt curryness of fenugreek makes me a little queasy. But I never knew it was part of cigarette flavoring.
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